Hello Disaster, the sophomore release from the New Heathens, picks up where the band's 2006 debut Heathens Like Me left off and moves the ball up the field.
The new record was produced by roots rock royalty Eric "Roscoe" Ambel who produced many of the New Heathens' favorite artists including the Bottle Rockets, the Backsliders, Mary Lee's Corvette and Spanking Charlene. Hello Disaster marked the first time the New Heathens worked with a producer.
The songs tell the story on Hello Disaster. Some reflect the tumultuous three years it took to make the album. Hello Disaster peels out with "Crybaby," a slash-and-burn rocker and moves quickly to the dark and moody, "I Thought You Were My Friend." The band shows off 60's-style pop on "Don't Think I Can't Stop," folk rock on, "Thankless War," country stomp on "Pig Pen," and a ballad, "Only Gets Better." The rock is brought full force on "Responsible," "Feelin' Lucky Again," "Proud Highway," and "27 Years." The band signs off with the guitar-and-accordion ballad, "Bastard Like Me," a confessional.
Singer Nate Schweber, of Missoula, MT, did the lion's share of the songwriting. Guitarist Domenick Tiziano, of Mundelein, IL, penned "Responsible," and "27 Years," and sings lead on the latter. Guitarist Butch Phelps, of Chatham, MA, wrote and sings, "Pig Pen." Brandy Wood, of Richmond, VA, formerly of the band Cracker, played bass. Eric Seftel and Tony Graci played drums.
Hello Disaster was recorded at Cowboy Technical Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which producer Ambel owns. The songs "Proud Highway," and "Bastard Like Me," were recorded at Ambel's home studio, Lily's Terrace. Ambel, who contributes occasional guitars and vocals throughout Hello Disaster, plays lead on "Proud Highway."
Charlene McPherson, of Spanking Charlene," sings harmony vocals on, "I Thought You Were My Friend," and "Don't Think I Can't Stop." Yayhoo Keith Christopher plays bass on "Proud Highway," and Robert Arthur plays accordion on "Bastard."
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Nate Schweber: Vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Butch Phelps: Guitars, vocals
Domenick Tiziano: Guitars, vocals
Brandy Wood: Bass
Eric Seftel: Drums